Israel Afolabi Ojo

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie, American author of self-help and recovery books

Gratitude is important for one’s well-being, said Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, who has studied and documented the thoughts of philosophers, theologians, and writers on the age-old process of giving thanks.

If you are grateful for all positive things that you see around yourself, you will undoubtedly have a fulfiling and happy day. In fact, it is written that gratitude is the best medicine for depression, self-pity.

In To Give Is to Receive, Roger Walsh, M.D. Ph.D. wrote, “Gratitude bestows many benefits. It dissolves negative feelings: anger and jealousy melt in its embrace, fear and defensiveness shrink.

Gratitude deflates the barriers to love. While forgiveness heals the heart of old hurts, gratitude opens it to present love.

“Gratitude helps you grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of those around you”, wrote Eileen Caddy.

The Hausa of Nigeria believe that if you give thanks for a little, you will find a lot. Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.” — Plato, famous Greek philosopher

What is gratitude?

To be grateful, in the true sense of the word, is to be modest. In Hebrew, the word for gratitude, hoda’ah, is the same as the word for confession. To be grateful, or to offer thanks, is to confess dependence, to acknowledge that others have the power to benefit you, to admit that your life is better because of their efforts.

“Gratitude is a virtue that helps us remember the obligations and responsibilities we owe others in return for the gifts we have received,” says William J. Bennett, former US Secretary of Education.

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart”, goes a saying.

Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast shares, “Gratitude is more than a feeling, a virtue, or an experience; gratitude emerges as an attitude we can freely choose in order to create a better life for ourselves and for others.”

“Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbours build their philosophy of life.” — A.J. Cronin, Scottish novelist Don’t just show gratitude, live gratitude.

Well-known professor of art history and respected theologian Johannes A. Gaertner said, “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch heaven.”

In all you do as this year is closing be gratiful to God and men. Appreciate yourself, your family and those who have contributed positively in way or the other to your progress. Let people know that you need them, let them feel that their efforts counts.

Sow the seed of gratitude today and it shall come to you in multiples.